Ways To Protect Your Baby’s Umbilical Stump
Created by Tasneem Sariya Updated on May 31, 2018
The umbilical cord is the connector between the baby (fetus) and the mother’s placenta in the womb. The cord supplies oxygen and nutrients to the baby at the same time passes off the waste from the baby’s bloodstream into the mother’s placenta. At the time of delivery, the cord is cut off, since the child no longer requires its assistance and what remains is an umbilical cord stump that falls off usually within the first three weeks of birth.
What Is A Baby’s Umbilical Stump?
A baby’s umbilical stump is attached to the belly button in the abdomen. During delivery, the cord is cut off and clamped, leaving a small portion of the cord jutting out from the stomach of the baby. Usually, the stump is not more than three centimeters and ideally falls off anytime within first one month of birth.
Also Read: Umbilical Cord And Its Uses
Newborn Umbilical Cord Care - How To Protect Baby From Umbilical Cord Stump?
Though the stump naturally and painlessly withers off, umbilical cord care is imperative to avoid infections. Caring for newborn umbilical cord stump is easy and requires no medication as such. It is also very common to find some blood or liquid discharge when the stump falls off and should not be a cause for panic. Here are some tips to take care of your baby’s umbilical cord stump:
- Try and keep the stump clean and dry. Do not use alcohol or soap to clean the stump; instead use a clean wet or dry cloth. Wipe the area around and the stump gently. The stump does not really hurt your baby and hence can be smoothly wiped without any scare of pain
- Try and keep the stump exposed to air, so that, it can be kept dry easily. Avoid strapping the diaper on the stump and especially during summers make the baby wear loose fitting apparels to allow the flow of air
- Opt for sponge baths instead of tub baths to help keep the area around the stump dry
- Do not try and pull off the stump even if it seems to be hanging on a thin skin. It is absolutely necessary to let the stump fall naturally and on its accord
Also Read: What is Umbilical Hernia
Umbilical Cord Infection
In very rare cases, infections may occur and you should consult the doctor if the baby cries on touching around the stump, the area around it turns red or the stump smells and has a yellowish discharge. A little blood around the stump or slight fluid discharge are not worry signs, however, if there is a moist pink lump also called the umbilical granuloma or there is flow of pus from the stump, the doctor must be consulted immediately.
The umbilical cord is clipped and left so for a few days after birth. In the first week the stump usually dries up and in the proceeding days turns black or brown until it finally falls off. The open area closes completely by approximately by two months forming the compacted belly button, which may be taken for granted, but becomes the lifeline and main physical connecting bridge between an expectant mother and her baby.
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